Supreme Court postpones oral arguments amid coronavirus pandemic

The Supreme Court on Monday postponed oral arguments scheduled for its March session, including a potentially landmark dispute over subpoenas for President TrumpDonald John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus MORE’s financial records, amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

A court spokeswoman said the move was “in keeping with public health precautions” in response to the outbreak, which has infected 18 people in Washington, D.C., and more than 3,800 nationwide.

“The court will examine the options for rescheduling those cases in due course in light of the developing circumstances,” the spokeswoman said.


The postponement affects six days of oral arguments slated for late March and April 1, including a March 31 dispute involving efforts by House Democrats and New York state prosecutors to obtain years of Trump’s financial records and tax returns.

The court in a statement said that the postponement of argument sessions in light of public health concerns is not unprecedented.

"The Court postponed scheduled arguments for October 1918 in response to the Spanish flu epidemic," it said. "The Court also shortened its argument calendars in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to yellow fever outbreaks."

The Supreme Court building remains open for official business, including the justices’ regularly scheduled March 20 conference. Some justices may participate in that conference remotely by telephone, a spokeswoman said. The building remains closed to the public indefinitely.

“The court is expanding remote working capabilities to reduce the number of employees in the building, consistent with public health guidance,” the spokeswoman said.


Six of the nine justices are age 65 or older, placing them in a population that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers to be at risk for serious illness from coronavirus.

The older justices are Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgFauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Biden owes us an answer on court-packing MORE, 87; Stephen BreyerStephen BreyerSupreme Court hears landmark B copyright fight between Oracle, Google RBG was a champion for creators, too Appeals court revives House lawsuit against Trump border wall MORE, 81; Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasLeading progressive group to launch pro-Biden ads in Arizona, Pennsylvania Government efforts to 'fix' social media bias overlooks the destruction of our discourse Democrats aim to paint Barrett as 'extreme' MORE, 71; Samuel AlitoSamuel AlitoThe politics of originalism Democrats aim to paint Barrett as 'extreme' Senate kicks off fight over Trump's Supreme Court pick MORE, 69; and John Roberts and Sonia SotomayorSonia SotomayorSupreme Court grants Trump request to halt 2020 census Amy Coney Barrett tells Senate panel she signed ad decrying Roe v. Wade as 'infamous' Supreme Court hears landmark B copyright fight between Oracle, Google MORE, 65.

--This report was updated at 11:04 a.m.